In Himachal, BJP Leaders Weep On Stage As Party Bets on PM’s Face Against Rebels
The BJP is fighting to maintain control in Himachal Pradesh, where it is up against renegade candidates on at least 19 of the 68 seats, ahead of the November 12 election, as evidenced by the tears of a central minister and a former royal.
The Congress is optimistic that the hill state’s “rivaaj,” or custom, of changing the administration every election favours it. The Congress has been able to appease its own share of rebels who could make a serious difference.
Although the two BJP politicians who wept are still in the party, viral videos are spreading the word far and wide.
Anurag Thakur, a union minister, broke down in tears as he expressed his disappointment that his father, the previous chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, who was the party’s planned face but lost the election, is not running. For the record, Mr. Dhumal, 78, has already made his retirement plans public.
Was Dhumal-ji still at his house in 2017? In a video of him choking up while trying to calm down fans, Mr. Thakur, an MP from Hamirpur, says, “There was just one leader in the entire state who went to every polling place; did not even care about his health. Will he undermine a group he has devoted his life to?
In Kullu, “Raja” Maheshwar Singh, a member of the former royal family who has served as an MLA on numerous occasions, was not given a seat to run for this time. At a gathering where former minister in the Dhumal government of Himachal, JP Nadda, was speaking, he was unable to control his tears.
Maheshwar Singh began his address with, “I’ve had a great political journey,” and after asking JP Nadda to finish his incomplete task, choked and sat back down.
He is one of 11 current BJP legislators who did not receive the nomination this time since the party relied on an internal poll. Two of these are currently running as independents, and five former MLAs have already filed their paperwork.
Kishori Lal, an MLA from Ani in Kullu for two consecutive terms, is one among the rebels.
He told NDTV that no one could persuade him to step down while he was campaigning on the shoulders of fans dancing to a Pahari song. His fans “started crying while I was sitting at home,” he recalled. “Their sentiment was that I should contest.”
He said, “I also received calls from Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Nadda Ji, but I wouldn’t have resigned even if Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called.”
Hoshiar Singh, an MLA from Dehra, as well as Tejwant Negi and KL Thakur, former MLAs from Kinnaur and Nalagarh, respectively, are some more well-known figures in this category.
At one time, the number of rebels reached 30. Some were angry about not being trusted again, while others were outraged about not being chosen despite waiting in line for years.
Chief Minister Thakur acknowledged the issue, but he believes the Modi wave will solve all of the problems. “We were able to persuade many of them. However, there is no justification for any insurrection in the presence of Prime Minister Modi, he added.
According to Mr. Thakur, everyone is running for office—Dhumal Saab, Shanta Kumar, etc.
After the passing of multiple-time chief minister Virbhadra Singh, whose wife Pratibha Singh is the state Congress chair and whose son Vikramaditya Singh is once more running for office, he denied that there was sympathy for the Congress.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding who is the clear leader of the party in the state, the Congress believes that BJP dissidents will aid in its return to power.
Anand Sharma, a prominent Congress politician, admitted that the party “had some disappointed leaders, too, but we managed to pull them over.” In Kangra, Mandi, and Kullu-Manali, he asserted, “BJP leaders are squabbling among themselves, and Congress candidates will easily win.”
The AAP calls the BJP a “divided house” and hopes to replicate its victory in Delhi and Punjab in Himachal, where they previously fared poorly.